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Thread: Installing Formica on Tablesaw

  1. #1
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    Installing Formica on Tablesaw

    I am replacing the wood (melamine covered MDF) wing on my tablesaw and I am going to use MDF and Formica the top. Should I also Formica the bottom?

    Same thing for the outfeed table I am replacing.

  2. #2
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    I have not done laminates but I believe the prevailing wisdom is; laminate both sides to avoid warping. The no-show side can be done with a low cost product just for this purpose.

    BTW, I ran a MDF extension that was shellac'd (both sides, no laminate) and waxed for years. It continues service unchanged to this day at the new owners shop.
    Last edited by glenn bradley; 03-04-2010 at 10:23 PM.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by glenn bradley View Post
    I have not done laminates but I believe the prevailing wisdom is; laminate both sides to avoid warping. The no-show side can be done with a low cost product just for this purpose.
    So...are the undersides of your kitchen countertops laminated? No, they're bare particle board. Do they warp? No.

    The extension tables on my last two tablesaws have been white laminate over " exterior grade plywood. Over a period of about twenty years, I've non experienced any warping - neither in the desert dry SoCal climate nor here in decidedly wetter Ohio.

    YMMV
    Jim D.
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  4. #4
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    Dunno if it has any relevance, but the laminate/MDF router table extension I got from Rockler has the laminate on one side only. It has stayed flat for the past 3 or so years.

    Formica's easy to apply, so if it was available for a good price, then I'd go ahead and do both sides if you have the spare material. If it's expensive, I'd put the laminate on the top and just slap some shellac or poly on the bottom as a moisture barrier.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vaughn McMillan View Post
    If it's expensive, I'd put the laminate on the top and just slap some shellac or poly on the bottom as a moisture barrier.
    It is not expensive because several store have remnants that are not rushing out the door because of the house building economy and the fact everyone has to have granite now.

    I might just do both sides on the outfeed table (which is hinged/or removable) (not sure yet) for protection .

    Thanks for the input.

  6. #6
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    i never have done more than the top...far more important is to honeycomb underneath with plywood on edge---3-4" makes it stout!
    [SIZE="1"] associated with several importers and manufacturers.[/SIZE]

  7. #7
    It's up to you if you want to laminate the underside but if it were me I would do it. Yes tops do warp with one side laminated if not kept in a climate controlled environment. 20 plus years working in cabinet shops and have seen many a board laminated on one side only with laminate warp.

  8. #8
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    When I removed the factory wooden wing on my tablesaw I wanted to do the Router table in the new wing I used Melamine and wrapped it with oak. Melamine stays flat and it's smooth and inexpensive.

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Router.02.jpg  
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  9. #9
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    The torsion boxes I've done for the shop were laminate on 4 or 5 of the 6 sides, 3 coats of water based poly on the bottom and on two of the, the back edge. So far, no warpage, and the shop is not climate controlled. I understand the reasoning behind doing it...I just didn't have the bucks for the extra material to do it with. Jim.
    Coolmeadow Setters...
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim DeLaney View Post
    So...are the undersides of your kitchen countertops laminated? No, they're bare particle board. Do they warp? No.
    but they're glued, and screwed down to the cabinet.


    If you've got the material, I say do it, you're adding a whole 10 minutes to the project. I'd still do as Tod mentioned and add some bracing as well.
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